MUNICH, Germany — Second-half goals from Lucas Hernandez and Leroy Sane tainted Robert Lewandowski’s return to the Allianz Arena as Bayern Munich beat Barcelona 2-0 in Champions League Group C.
It was an unfortunate return to Bayern for Lewandowski, who is Bayern’s second-highest goalscorer of all time but joined the Catalans in the summer after eight years.
The loss extends Barcelona’s rough run of results in Munich. That Blaugrana The last seven Bayern appearances have now remained without a win, two draws and five defeats.
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Bayern are now leaders with six points from two games. Barcelona have three points along with Internazionale. Viktoria Pilsen takes last place.
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1. Bayern dominate Barcelona again
Bayern Munich extended their dominance over Barcelona with a 2-0 win in Champions League Group C at the Allianz Arena and recorded their fifth consecutive win against the LaLiga giants. Two goals within four minutes of the second half – a Lucas Hernandez header in the 51st minute followed by a solo goal from Leroy Sane three minutes later – were enough to seal the win and put Bayern clearly at the top of their group bring to.
And the win means Bayern have won four in their five-game streak by a margin of 19 goals over Barcelona’s, including the infamous 8-2 quarter-final win in Lisbon in 2020. Barca also suffered two 3-0 defeats most recently accept against the team of Julian Nagelsmann season. To add to Barcelona’s misery, Bayern have now scored 30 goals against them in the Champions League, nine more than Paris Saint-Germain, the second-most successful side against the Spanish club.
Although they created a few chances for Robert Lewandowski in the first half, Barcelona rarely looked like Barcelona would emerge victorious in Germany and they had no reaction to Bayern’s strong start to the second half. Xavi Hernandez’s side are still rebuilding significantly after Lionel Messi’s departure to PSG last year and looked a step below Bayern, who inflicted yet another humiliating defeat on the five-time Champions League winners.
2. Lewandowski’s tough night on Bayern’s return
Bayern’s second-best goalscorer didn’t have to wait long for his first game after leaving in the summer, but he endured a frustrating evening against his old side. The Polish striker, one of the world’s best players of the last decade, just couldn’t find his shooting shoes despite having a number of scoring chances.
Had he finished in his usual sober manner, Lewandowski would have silenced the Allianz Arena with a hat-trick before half-time. But Lewandowski’s radar was way off and he didn’t take any of his chances. Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer saved his header with a reflex save in the 20th minute, but Lewandowski should have scored just before that, firing over the bar from ten meters after Gavi’s serve.
Some of Dayot Upamecano’s and Noussair Mazraoui’s last encounters were also denied by Lewandowski when he had the goal in sight, but it was just one of those nights when nothing went right for the 34-year-old.
However, the evening had one good aspect. When he showed up to warm up before the game, Lewandowski received a rousing welcome from the home fans. No boos, just respect for his contribution to Bayern’s success – that’s all he has left.
3. Barcelona, Inter Milan are now second
Barcelona thought or hoped their brief taste of the Europa League, having failed to qualify in the Champions League group last season, was nothing more than an isolated case, but they could have a repeat this time around Tuesday’s defeat experience.
There’s no shame in being beaten by the eternal Bundesliga champions, of course, but with Bayern now firmly at the top of Group C with two wins from two games, second place is developing into a head-to-head battle between Barca and Internazionale.
Both European heavyweights lost to Bayern but beat Viktoria Pilsen, so it will now come down to who performs best when they meet on back-to-back matchdays on October 4th and 12th. And with Inter hosting the first game next month at the San Siro, Barca know they can’t afford another defeat away when they travel to Italy.
Bayern, Barca and Inter are likely to get maximum points against Czech champions Pilsen. So everything is at stake between Barca and Inter. Benfica could beat Barca to second place in the group last season, but Inter are a stronger team. The Catalans are still in transition under Xavi so the chances are good Nerrazzurri.
Bayern Munich: Manuel Neuer 7; Benjamin Pavard (6), Dayot Upamecano (7), Lucas Hernandez (7), Alphonso Davies (8); Kimmich 6, Marcel Sabitzer 6, Thomas Müller 7; Leroy Sane 7, Jamal Musiala Musiala 6, Sadio Mane 6.
Subtitle: Noussair Mazraoui (6), Leon Goretzka (8), Serge Gnabry (6), Mathys Tel (6), Ryan Gravenberch (6).
Barcelona: Marc-Andre ter Stegen 7; Jules Kounde (5), Ronaldo Araujo (6), Andreas Christensen (6), Marcos Alonso (5); 5 Sergio Busquets, 6 Pedri, 6 Gavi; Raphinha (6), Ousmane Dembele (6), Robert Lewandowski (6).
Subtitle: Ferran Torres 6, Frenkie de Jong 6, Ansu Fati 6.
Best and worst performers
BEST: Leon GoretzkaBayern Munich.
The German midfielder only came on as a half-time substitute but he changed the game for Bayern, adding vigor and a spirit of adventure to the home team’s midfield. Goretzka’s long-range shot, well parried by Marc Andre Ter Stegen, went straight to the corner from which Lucas Hernandez scored the opening goal for Bayern.
WORST: Marco AlonsoBarcelona.
The Barcelona defender got a hot streak from Bayern’s Leroy Sane and looked like someone who wishes he’d stayed at Chelsea to live a quiet life on the substitutes’ bench. Alonso has never been fast, so against Sane it was a mismatch from the start.
Highlights and notable moments
No boos, just applause for Robert Lewandowski on his return to Bayern with Barcelona pic.twitter.com/t2K0sscKrD
— Mark Ogden (@MarkOgden_) September 13, 2022
FC Bayern Munich fans have unveiled a banner protesting the impact of Queen Elizabeth II’s death on football matches.
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 13, 2022
After the game: what the managers, players said
“We can’t let them off the hook that much. I go pretty choppy here because this was a win night. But I’m also proud of the team. But it’s about winning and that’s what we have to do to compete better in crucial moments like scoring two goals and to be more effective when we create chances.” – Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez
“This result does not tell the real story. Our performance in the first half deserved far more than being 0-0 at half-time. But of course, if you don’t take chances against a big rival like Bayern, you will end up paying.” — Barcelona’s Pedri
“Barcelona had better chances than us in the first half, our last ball wasn’t quite there. In the second half it was much better and our efficiency made the difference.” – Bayern manager Julian Nagelsmann
Key Stats (provided by ESPN Stats & Information)
– Bayern Munich have scored 30 goals against Barcelona in the Champions League. Paris Saint-Germain are second with 21 goals against the Catalans.
– Bayern have beaten Barcelona 19-4 in the last five Champions League games. Things got even worse in the second half, with Bayern leading 11-1.
– Bayern are the only team that have played away from Barcelona at least three times in the Champions League and not come away with a win. There are now seven games without a win.
Bayern Munich: Back in action in the Bundesliga where they will look to break a run of three straight draws against FC Augsburg on Saturday. Then comes the international break and on September 30th the return to the league against Bayer Leverkusen. The next Champions League game will take place on October 4th in Viktoria Pilsen.
Barcelona: After all, they remain undefeated in LaLiga. The Catalans will look to shake off Tuesday’s loss to Elche at the Camp Nou on Saturday. A trip to Mallorca on September 1 after the international break and then a tough Champions League game at Inter Milan on October 4.
https://www.espn.com/soccer/uefa-champions-league/story/4745601/robert-lewandowski-off-the-mark-in-return-as-bayern-beat-barcelona-yet-again-reactionratings Robert Lewandowski off the mark in return as Bayern beat Barcelona yet again: Reaction, ratings